THE United States Government (USD) says it will now support cervical cancer screening activities in Zimbabwe amidst indications that the disease has of late been the leading cause of death in women i over the past few years.
By Michael Gwarisa
According to national statistics, Cervical cancer kills not less than 2000 women annually.
Speaking at the just held PEPFAR HIV/AIDS Media Awards, Charged d’ Affairs at the US Embassy, Jennifer Savage said focus would now shift fighting cervical cancer screening to ensure early detection and treatment of the disease.
“This is a direct response to the information we received from partners where our support is needed and would yield the biggest impact,” she said.
Through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the US government says it targets to scale up Voluntary Male Male circumcision activities in the country with organisation targeting to reach 306 000 males in 2018.
Despite the wide-spread availability of cervical cancer prevention and screening programs in developed countries, the morbidity and mortality rates of cervical cancer in Zimbabwe are still very high. Limited resources as well as the high HIV prevalence are contributors to the high burden of cervical cancer.
PEPFAR has been supporting the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) to implement comprehensive HIV programs in Zimbabwe since 2006.
However, since 1980, the US government has been supporting Zimbabwe and is this year providing $150 million through PEPFAR. Working with Zimbabwe partners, PEPFAR provides testing, counseling, medical male circumcision, and treatment among other HIVAIDS relief services.
The First Lady, Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa is on a nationwide campaign to scale up cervical cancer screening around the country. By February last year, Zimbabwe managed to screen only 5000 women throughout the whole country, this year 2018 during the same period, 21 332 women were screened.